Mardi Gras is a time of great merriment and takes place in the weeks prior to the start of the Lenten season. Lent is a 46 day period prior to Easter when many Christians sacrifice different foods and actions for those days. Mardi Gras is a time of frivolity and celebration, perfect for a birthday bash.
The colors of Mardi Gras are purple, signifying justice; green, meaning faith; and gold, representing power. Use these colors in the table cloths, table ware and other decoration including balloons, and streamers. Sprinkle confetti down the center of tables or strew them with colorful Mardi Gras beads. Wrap beads around a candle or vase and use as a centerpiece. Mardi Gras is all about excess, so decorate to the max.
Mardi Gras is the perfect time to have a costume or masquerade birthday party. Give your guests a plain mask when they arrive or with the invitation. Have them decorate it at home or at the party using paint, glitter, feathers and other craft items. Have guests vote on the best mask and give the maker a prize. Make sure to have massive amounts of beads and a few feather boas there for your guests to wear. Don’t forget to take photos and place them in a scrap book for the birthday celebrant.
Adults enjoy traditional New Orleans fare like gumbo or jambalaya. Muffelletta sandwiches, oysters and other seafood is also a good choice. Kids may not enjoy a good etouffe, so serve chili or chili dogs, cheese and turkey sandwiches, or pizza. Have a King’s Cake instead of a traditional birthday cake. King’s cake, also called twelfth night cake, is sweet, pastry-like bread baked in a wreath shape. It is decorated with icing or glaze in Mardi Gras colors. A small ceramic baby or dried bean is baked inside the cake and the tradition is whoever gets the baby in their piece, provides next year’s party. In the case of a birthday celebration, the lucky person would get a prize.
Pass a mask or small plastic baby around a circle while jazz or blues music plays. When the music stops, the person who has the object is out until only the winner is left. Hide Mardi Gras coins or chocolate, foil covered coins around the party area. The person that finds the most wins a prize. Set up some bottles with sand in the bottom so they stay upright. Throw strands of beads at them and whoever encircles a bottle wins another prize.
Mardi Gras is a great birthday party theme for young and old. Invite guests to come as they are or dress in costume to revel the time away.